Netanyahu: Abbas shows no interest in finding solution to conflict

PM says Israel will continue working with other European countries to follow the Danish lead and tighten controls on money to Palestinian NGOs.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has shown that he is not interested in finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday in response to Abbas saying that he will not accept any peace plan put forward by the US.
Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting speaks about Abbas quitting the peace process, December 24, 2017. (Video credit: GPO)
Netanyahu, at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, said that Abbas made clear at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday that “For all practical purposes he is withdrawing from the [diplomatic] process and is not interested at all in what kind of proposal the US brings.”
According to Netanyahu, “This again reveals something simple and clear – the ones who do not want a resolution to the conflict are the Palestinians.”
Netanyahu also referred at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting to the new national security paper published recently by the Trump administration that asserts that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not at the core of the region’s problems.
“The root of the general conflict in the Middle East does not lie in Israel, but in Iran and in radical Islam and the terrorism that it inspires,” Netanyahu said. “All of these are the true reasons that have been revealed to everyone. Anyone with eyes in their head and integrity cannot deny it.”
Netanyahu speaks about Israel"s withdrawal from UNESCO and Denmark"s toughening up on Palestinian NGOs at weekly cabinet meeting, December 24, 2017 (video credit: GPO)
In addition, Netanyahu mentioned Denmark’s decision to tighten conditions for providing money to Palestinian NGOs, saying that he has spoken about this recently with Denmark’s prime minister and foreign minister, as well as with other European foreign ministers when he met them earlier this month in Brussels.
“I demanded from them all that they end their support for organizations that supported terrorism and boycotts of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Denmark has decided to take this step, but it is not the first or the last. We will continue pursuing this line.”
The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, which for over 10 years has been following funding by Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands to an NGO clearinghouse based in Ramallah that today goes by the name of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, also praised the Danish step.
Daniel Laufer, a spokesman for the NGO, said his organization identified grants by the secretariat to NGOs “linked to the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], which is listed on the EU’s list of terror organizations, as well as others promoting incitement to violence, antisemitism, BDS, and anti-normalization. The evidence also revealed that managers of the secretariat were similarly involved in anti-Israel political warfare.”
Between 2006 and 2018, Denmark provided $12 million of the $45m. total budgeted to the secretariat, he said.
According to Laufer: “Taken together with Norway’s decision reversing participation in the secretariat NGO funding mechanism, and with parliamentary scrutiny in Switzerland and the Netherlands, Denmark’s action highlights the belated awareness among Europeans of the need for due diligence and full transparency in NGO funding.”
Between the years 2014 and 2016, Laufer said, the secretariat provided $530,000 to the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee that named a woman’s center in Burka, north of Nablus, after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who led the Coastal Road massacre in 1978 that killed 37 people.
It was the naming of the women’s center after Mugrabi in May that triggered the Danish to review where its money to Palestinian NGOs was going.